Friends and family affected by Wednesday's ICE raid at Midwest Precast Concrete share support during special church service.

MOUNT PLEASANT — As the congregation at St. Alphonsus Church in Mount Pleasant recited the Lord’s Prayer together Sunday afternoon, both Spanish and English intertwined. The special afternoon service was held to support those reeling from the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid at Midwest Precast Concrete Wednesday, in which 32 men were arrested for “administrative immigration violations” and taken away from their families.

Family and friends united in prayer, including many personally affected by the raid. A high school freshman whose father was arrested must now translate between his Spanish-speaking mother and a lawyer. A Southeastern Community College student whose father was arrested could not take her final exams on time to support her mother and younger siblings. A mother of two small children hopes her husband returns home safely and not put in jail for two years like the last time this happened.

Father Bernie Weir, pastor at St. James Church in Washington, Iowa, who provided bilingual translation throughout the Mass, said the service was planned to make sure those affected by the raid know the church is supporting the in every way possible.

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“The body right now — and we are one body, on baptism, one father, one spirit, one hope — is in a great deal of pain and a great deal of fear, and we need to make sure we are offering our hand for those who are in pain.”

Weir said immediate needs of the immigrant families, such as rent payments, bills and food must be addressed first. In the long term, he said immigration reform must create a system that does not unjustly separate families and remove people from the country who do not need to be removed. Several churches in the area are collecting money and gathering it at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant to help families with these needs.

Despite great sadness and worry, the crowd held their heads high and sang. Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport Thomas Zinkula said faith will get Mount Pleasant residents through this dark time.

“We are gathered at the Lord’s name this afternoon to support one another, to love one another, and to recognize God’s presence here,” said Zinkula. “So let’s walk with the families that are hurting and suffering because of the raid and be there for one another.”